What can I do?

George Gurdjieff

George Gurdjieff

“Without self knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.”

 

What can I do?

If we want to find out how to not be a machine, one must first find out that one is a machine and what it means to be a machine.
Sounds logical, so, how do we do that?

Well one of the first things we can do is try to observe ourselves, but there is a problem with this. That is if some one asks us if we are aware of our self and observe our self we will of course answer yes.
Because we always believe that we are one; a unique, undivided individual always aware of itself!
Unfortunately this is not true, it is a big lie that helps in preventing us from seeing the real facts of our situation.

It is important for our evolution to try to expose this illusion.
The beginning effort to see this is to try to observe our self.
Great! how do I do that?
Do I check myself out in a mirror? Do I take a test? Do I answer a questionnaire?

Well as a matter of fact taking a test is interesting, because there are many so called exercises given to people working in the fourth way which are sort of like tests but there are no grades.
Unfortunately, we usually think of them as tests and spend a lot of time trying to do them perfectly so we won’t be a machine.
Doing them perfectly is impossible because they are designed for us to see ourselves as we are, beings with no real will!

Actually if one learns how to do an exercise perfectly it has become a hindrance to one’s development rather than a help.
When we put an exercise in the category of a test we will always fail because they generally ask us to do something consistently which is impossible for a divided being such as we are.
They are designed as a means for us to notice our machine, to become aware of ourselves and aware that we are a machine and can not do. Not as a means to try and perfect the machine.

In our present state it will mean being only partially aware of our condition, one I looking at another I. This is the only tool we have right now but it is important for us to begin with this. We must become aware of being a machine and the limitations of this condition before we are willing to start on the long road to becoming something greater.